Events / Community Culture / Bletcher Hour with Chataya Holy Singer and Devon Smither

Bletcher Hour with Chataya Holy Singer and Devon Smither

Southern Alberta Art Gallery

Artist TalkCommunity CultureSeminar

Named after Lethbridge’s first librarian Hazel Bletcher, the Gallery’s critical reading group gathers once a month for open discussion.

Bletcher Hour with Chataya Holy Singer and Devon Smither

March 9, 2023 | 6pm


Join us for our March Bletcher Hour, featuring guests Chataya Holy Singer and Devon Smither.

Chataya Holy Singer is featured in the Gallery’s Art Library exhibition No’tsiitsi – My Hands, on at the Gallery until April 23 2023. She has selected an excerpt of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass for this month’s reading. Holy Singer will be part of our discussion, along with curator Devon Smither.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer draws on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, to show how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.

The discussion will take place in the Gallery’s Art Library on Thursday, March 9 from 6 to 7 PM. This program is free to attend. Please contact Heather Kehoe, Program & Event Coordinator, to register. Readings are sent as PDFs in advance of the event.

Chataya Holy Singer is a Kainai Blackfoot interdisciplinary artist working with both traditional and contemporary mediums including photography, digital media, painting, drawing, performance, beading and sewing. Her work addresses identity, spirituality, language, and traditional knowledge by integrating her Indigenous worldview with a contemporary perspective.

Holy Singer is deeply passionate about her Blackfoot roots. Her practice weaves concepts of the past and present as a tool to preserve her culture for the future. Holy Singer achieves this through acts of resilience, decolonization, revitalization, and reclaiming what has been taken away from her ancestors. She aims to “break the cycle” of intergenerational trauma while navigating through a Eurocentric society with an Indigenous lens. Holy Singer is a strong advocate for education, encouraging the youth to continue bridging the gaps left by historical trauma. Her inspiration derives from her strength to carry on the traditional ways of life, supported by her art, and surviving through blood memory.

Devon Smither is Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Lethbridge, located in traditional Blackfoot Confederacy, Treaty 7, and Métis Nation 3 territory. She is an art historian whose research and teaching interests focus on gender and modernity, modern art in Canada, and North American women artists. Devon is currently completing a book manuscript based on her PhD research on the female nude in Canadian painting and photography from 1913 to 1965 (MQUP) as well as a manuscript on Pegi Nicol MacLeod (Art Canada Institute). Other current research projects examine Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s support of artists from 1905 to 1930 whose works form part of the founding collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (funded by a SSHRC IDG and Terra Grant) and a new project examining feminist art in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. She is a founding member of Open Art Histories (, a group of art historians in Canada devoted to advancing the conversation and scholarship on art, art history, and pedagogy. She has published articles and reviews in RACAR: Revue d’art Canadienne/Canadian Art Review, The Journal of Historical Sociology, and The Literary Review of Canada. Devon is the current English-language book editor for RACAR.

About the Bletcher Hour

Named after Lethbridge’s first librarian Hazel Bletcher, the Gallery’s critical reading group gathers once a month for open discussion. Readings explore key themes of the exhibitions and current events, with the intent to deepen our understanding of the artworks and their context within our community. Everyone is welcome to take part!

Thursday March 9, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Southern Alberta Art Gallery’s Art Library

601 3 Avenue South Lethbridge, AB, T1J 0H4Canada

Free with Admission